Gretel V. on Pacific Crest Trail Section 15
Great leisurely trail with wonderful views of the lake. Definitely go off the trail and explore.
Zoe R. on Donner Peak Trail
I actually thought this trail was fairly easy, so I'm surprised it is rated as moderate. There was a point where it was a steady uphill for a brief stretch, bit the terrain was relatively flat most of the way. The summit provides a beautiful view of Dinner Lake. I also enjoyed the woodsy part of this hike!
Richard S. on Mt Judah Loop Trail
Spectacular views and lovely forests. Gives you a great sense of how the transcontinental railroad was put in.
Not enough signage and the trail split at several points, making things confusing. Parking is on the left when you're headed up the road, it's easy to miss as there isn't a sign. You definitely hear the road throughout the whole hike which is annoying when you're trying to get out in 'nature.' A lot of bees, but we encountered that in all of the Truckee/Donner areas we visited.
Really busy, a big tourist spot. Trail is almost always congested, but on a clear day, the views from the top of Donner Lake and a 365 of the Sierras is worth it! Fun boulders to climb at the top, and a perfect spot to eat lunch and enjoy the view before heading back down. Dog friendly, most dogs off leash. Windy at the top!
The name of this hike is a little misleading, and difficult to confirm on other maps. The first half (PCT from I-80 to Donner Pass) is beautiful: views are gorgeous, trails are clearly marked, and the skill level is enjoyably challenging. Picking up the "trail" south of where it ends at Donner Pass proved to be a bit of a challenge. Once we found it (thank goodness for GPS and cell service), the second half seemed to only be unmarked ski resort service roads, which split off several times. It's almost like someone with ski resort knowledge just tagged this (not-so-short)cut onto the end of the PCT section to get back to the car a different way. Glad we persevered, despite feeling (and getting) lost and being given wrong directions by several parties. Not sure the second half is worth it, but I can't recommend the first half enough--stunning!!!
The first part of this trail (clockwise) along the PCT is really great. Great views, pretty plant life. However, the hike from where the loop meets Donner Pass Rd back to the parking lot is not very fun at all. It just goes up one of the Boreal ski runs to the top where the ski lifts stop and then back down. I mean, if seeing a ski resort without any snow is interesting to you then by all means, but for us it was not worth the hike. My advice for this trail would be to hike clockwise from the start to Donner Pass Road then turn around and go back the way you came.
One of my 3 children has a cold. We went back about 3/4 away up. We ate lunch overlooking Mary Lake. Not bad I've been on better. His cold gave us the excuse to head back. Maybe we will do it again in full. Not sure if our heart wasn't into it or it was something about the trail that left us feeling average rather than superb.